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Filing Bankruptcy in Camden, New Jersey

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Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated September 29, 2020

When people are struggling to meet their household expenses and pay their debts at the same time, they tend to walk around simultaneously exhausted and wired. It’s difficult to sleep when you’re stressed about money and it’s difficult to function when you’re working as hard as possible to make extra cash. Unfortunately, no matter how responsible you are or how hard you work, there may be times in your life that you just can’t make the math of your financial situation “click.” If you’re struggling through one of those times in life right now, know that you’re not alone. Since the Great Recession of 2008, Americans have developed an understanding that even the most sensible adults are usually only one major life even away from financial chaos. Thankfully, that understanding has caused New Jersey bankruptcy to lose the stigma it once held. As a result, more people are filing bankruptcy in Camden and benefiting from the fresh start that the two primary kinds of personal bankruptcy offer. For example, filing Camden bankruptcy under Chapter 7 can lead the Court to erase your debts in as few as 90 days. If you don’t earn much money and your struggling with overwhelming debt, filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 may be a great option for you and your family. Although filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden doesn’t allow for the elimination of every single kind of debt, it eliminates many kinds of debt. Also, you can take advantage of exemption laws that allow you to keep your property safe from the risk that it’ll be sold to pay your outstanding debt. If you’re working yourself to the bone and/or laying awake night after night because you can’t cover your expenses and your debts right now, consider filing for bankruptcy protection. It isn’t the best debt relief option for everyone but it’s so advantageous that it’s worth learning more about it.

Camden Bankruptcy Lawyers – Estimated Cost

If you’re thinking about filing bankruptcy in Camden, you’re probably worried about the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer. Want to know a (not so) secret? Filing for Chapter 7 is a very straightforward process. You probably only need to concern yourself with Camden bankruptcy lawyer cost issues if your finances are unusually complex. If you choose to hire an attorney, which you have every right to do, know that bankruptcy assistance in Camden costs between $965 - $1,550. Filing for bankruptcy yourself is free. If you qualify for a fee waiver and you have a printer at home, filing for bankruptcy will cost you virtually nothing.

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How to File Bankruptcy in Camden, New Jersey for Free

The process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden can be intimidating, but the rewards associated with investing in this process are potentially significant. If you think that New Jersey bankruptcy might be right for you, consider the following information about what you can expect as you navigate your case.  

Collect Your Camden Bankruptcy Documents

Before you begin cooking according to a recipe, you have to make sure that you have all the ingredients you need on hand. Similarly, before filing bankruptcy in Camden, you’ll need to make sure that you have all of the documents you need to reference at your fingertips. You’ll need to fill out a lot of forms before you can turn in your bankruptcy case to the Court. When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden, you’ll be asked about the property you own, the debts you owe, your income, and your household expenses. You can’t accurately answer the Court’s questions unless you reference recent pay stubs, your most recent tax return, recent bank statements, and your current credit report. Make sure to gather these reference documents before you start so that your process is as efficient as possible.

Take Credit Counseling

Yes, there is a lot of paperwork associated with filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden. However, there are also some bankruptcy requirements that aren’t about filling out and filing forms. Specifically, the Camden Bankruptcy Court requires filers to attend a meeting with their Trustee later in the process and requires them to participate in two distinct educational courses at different times. While you’ll need to take the second class after you’ve filed your bankruptcy petition with the Court, you’ll need to take the first class at any time during the six months before you file your case. When choosing a credit counseling course, make sure it has been approved by the Department of Justice for residents of New Jersey.  

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms

When you’re attempting to accomplish something you’ve never tried before, do you feel comfortable following directions until you figure out how to move forward? If so, you’ll probably be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy without an attorney’s help. If you research “how to file bankruptcy in Camden,” you’ll discover that most of what you need to do to successfully file on your own involves filling out paperwork. Legal paperwork understandably intimidates many people. However, the forms associated with filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden all feature clear, step-by-step directions. As long as you feel confident discussing your finances on paper, you should be able to conquer this process without incurring expensive legal fees.

Get Your Filing Fee

Early in the bankruptcy process, many people worry about the two primary costs associated with taking this action. First, they worry about how much it will cost to hire an attorney. Thankfully, most low-income filers don’t need a lawyer’s help when filing bankruptcy in Camden. Second, they worry about the $338 filing fee generally required of Camden bankruptcy applicants. Thankfully, the Court allows low-income filers who live below 150% of the poverty line to request a fee waiver. When a filer makes too much money to qualify for a fee waiver, that filer can request to pay the mandatory fee in installments so that it isn’t such a hardship all at once. For these reasons, the cost of bankruptcy shouldn’t stand in your way of pursuing this option.

When filing for Camden bankruptcy, you can’t submit your forms online. This is frustrating for many filers because few families keep printers in their homes anymore. Thankfully, there are two easy ways to get your forms physically printed in Camden if you don’t have a printer at home. First, you can choose to use the public printers at any of the 8 branches of the Camden County Library System for a fee. Second, you can stop by a commercial establishment that offers printing services, like Fed-Ex. Either way, know that you can choose to print blank forms and handwrite your answers, or fill them out as PDFs and print the completed pieces saved on a flash drive.

Go to Court to File Your Forms

From the Camden Children’s Garden to all the great nearby eateries, Camden has a lot to offer its residents. One of the many things that Camden offers its residents is an easy way to file bankruptcy in person. Anyone can file bankruptcy via postal mail. But personally filing bankruptcy in Camden can speed up the process of getting your case in front of the Court. If you missed a signature and file by mailing everything in, you won’t know that your case wasn’t accepted until you are notified by mail. That’s a lot of time lost during which you could have already been protected by the automatic stay, which kicks in as soon as your New Jersey bankruptcy is filed with the Court. Also, going to file in person allows you to get a spare set of your bankruptcy forms stamped for your records. The courthouse where you can file your bankruptcy forms in person is located at 401 Market Street.

Mail Documents to Your Trustee

You only need to turn your full set of bankruptcy forms in to the Court when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden. However, you’ll need to forward other documents to an individual appointed by the Court, known as a Trustee. Trustees help to lighten the Court’s case burden by overseeing parts of every filer’s case. In the case of most Chapter 7 filers, a Trustee’s role is primarily to conduct a meeting between those filers and their creditors. You’ll be asked questions about your finances during your meeting, so your Trustee will need to familiarize themselves with your situation before that time. Once your Trustee has been assigned, you’ll be given instructions on which documents to forward to your Trustee in advance of your meeting. Be prepared to forward copies of recent tax returns, pay stubs and other requested financial documentation.

Take Bankruptcy Course 2

You may have excellent financial management skills but the Court doesn’t want to take that for granted. As a result, you’re required to take a debtor education course in personal financial management before you can be granted a discharge in your Camden bankruptcy case. Many people need to file for bankruptcy because a major life event threw their family’s finances into chaos. But some people could have possibly avoided having to file for bankruptcy if they’d been given access to more comprehensive education about personal financial management. The Court provides that opportunity here. Just remember to only choose a course that has been approved by the Department of Justice for filers in New Jersey so that your participation fulfills this requirement.  

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Before the Court decides your case, you’ll need to answer some questions while under oath during your 341 meeting. Although your creditors will be invited to attend this meeting, it’s unlikely that any of them will. You can expect that you’ll likely just be answering your Trustee’s questions for roughly 10-20 minutes. These meetings are low-stress, but filing bankruptcy in Camden is an official process, so it’s a good idea to dress semi-professionally and to avoid arriving late. Make sure to bring a photo ID and an official copy of your Social Security card along to your meeting.

Dealing with Your Car

Most low-income filers can take advantage of enough exemptions when filing bankruptcy in Camden that they don’t risk losing any of the property they own outright, unless that property is unusually valuable. However, exemptions don’t apply to property that is still being paid for. Therefore, filers are compelled to do one of three things if they are still making payments on their car.  They can reaffirm the debt,redeem the car or surrender the car. What you choose to do will depend on whether you could benefit more from keeping your car or surrendering the car to your creditor so that you no longer have to make payments on your loan. If you want to keep your car, you’ll need to either pay the car’s value in one payment (redemption) or convince the Court that you can make payments per the terms of your loan from now on (reaffirmation).

New Jersey Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Camden

New Jersey Means Test

If you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden, you’ll need to pass the New Jersey bankruptcy Means Test for Chapter 7 first. The New Jersey bankruptcy Means Test serves as a test to determine who is eligible for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 and those who should seek the assistance of an attorney to explore other debt relief options, including a Chapter 13. Due to strict income limits, only low-income filers are eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden. 

Median Income Levels for New Jersey

New Jersey Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed In 2023
Household SizeMonthly IncomeAnnual Income

Poverty Levels for New Jersey

New Jersey Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed In 2023

Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.

Household SizeState Poverty LevelFee Waiver Limit (150% PL)

New Jersey Bankruptcy Forms

Good news! Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Camden is particularly straightforward because the Court doesn’t require filers to submit any local New Jersey bankruptcy forms in addition to the standard, federal forms submitted by filers across the U.S. Less paperwork and the ability to find all the forms you need in one place makes this process particularly user-friendly.

New Jersey Exemptions

Exemptions allow everyone who files for Camden bankruptcy to keep eligible property safe from the risk that their Trustee will sell it and pass the profits along to their creditors. New Jersey allows filers to choose between New Jersey bankruptcy exemptions and federal bankruptcy exemptions when protecting their property in this way. You’ll use the form titled Schedule C to outline which New Jersey bankruptcy exemptions or federal bankruptcy exemptions (not both) you’re applying to your property.

Written By:

The Upsolve Team

Upsolve is fortunate to have a remarkable team of bankruptcy attorneys, as well as finance and consumer rights professionals, as contributing writers to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful to everyone.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

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